Balfour’s £250m M25 junction upgrade gets go-ahead after planning hold-up

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A associated task betwixt Balfour Beatty and Atkins volition yet beryllium capable to statesman enactment connected the planned upgrade of an interchange wherever the M25 meets the A3 successful Surrey.

The scheme, worthy betwixt £100m and £250m, has been fixed the go-ahead immoderate 16 months aft transport caput Grant Shapps was primitively owed to regularisation connected the application.

Shapps was acceptable to regularisation connected the improvement consent bid (DCO) exertion successful January 2021, but helium extended the deadline connected 3 occasions to “consult further connected the application”.

In particular, helium wanted much accusation connected the biology interaction of the strategy and the effect of COVID-19 connected the request for the upgrade, arsenic good arsenic the “question of due proviso of replacement onshore to compensate for the projected peculiar class onshore to beryllium compulsorily purchased nether the DCO”.

Having assessed the further information, Shapps has present granted the application.

The strategy involves gathering 4 dedicated free-flowing gaffe lanes, which volition let each left-turning postulation to walk done the junction unimpeded by postulation signals.

Carriageways connected the existing roundabout volition besides beryllium elongated and widened to summation capableness for right-turning traffic.

On the M25, the hard shoulders done the junction volition beryllium converted into moving lanes with exigency refuge areas.

National Highways besides plans to widen the A3 to 4 lanes successful each absorption betwixt the Ockham Park junction and the Painshill junction, but wherever the A3 crosses implicit junction 10, which volition stay arsenic 2 lanes successful some directions.

The upgrade has agelong been opposed by run radical RHS Wisley connected biology grounds.

A connection connected RHS’s website reads: “The interaction of Highways England’s [now National Highways] proposals would spot 44 trees on our bound with the A3 astatine risk. The plans being signed disconnected by the caput of authorities would spot 17 Grade II Heritage Trees being chopped down.

“They would besides spot 27 trees, including North American redwood taxon (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and 5 Grade II Heritage Trees, being astatine hazard due to the fact that the improvement could adversely impact the wellness of the trees by undermining basal strength.

“Anyone who has seen these magnificent trees successful idiosyncratic volition archer you of the awe that they bring. We request your dependable to guarantee we tin support these beauteous trees.”

National Highways claims the upgrade volition “reduce congestion, creaseless the travel of postulation to amended travel times, enactment economical maturation and caller lodging wrong the area, [and] amended safety”.